Monday, August 18, 2008
I signed up to go to Las Vegas ASD/AMD show fully expecting it to be a 'wholesale' only show and with the assurances from the organizers that there are other 'similar' vendors coming. Two days before the show the organizers call and say the fine jewelry section of the show which is what I signed up for is 100% filled with diamonds and platinum and what the hell am I doing in that part of the show!!!!! I refused to be moved to the other section of the show they have which I felt is filled with mass produced and really low price jewelry with almost no handmade ones. They reluctantly agree to leave me in the fine jewelry section warning me that next year if I want to come to the show I have to go to the fashion/costume jewelry section and will not be allowed in fine jewelry (even though 25% of my collection has 18k or 14k gold with precious stones and black diamonds).
But by then warning bells are ringing in my mind that this might yet be another wrong show I picked trusting the organizers to tell me the truth. Ofcourse there isn't a single vendor in the fine jewelry section who has anything but "manufactured" stuff and mostly with diamonds. And i also observed that the only booths that were busy at the show were actually doing "retail" in the wholesale show. On talkign to a few people I was enlightened that atleast in that particular show, as long as 10% of the products they have are for wholesale (or a single 4 or 6ft glass showcase full), they can sell any other items for retail!!!!
Is there a secret manual that I am missing here? How can I compete in handmade section for prices with people who can cast them and provide at lower price or in a wholesale show where people can sell 90% of the inventory in retail!. Since its expected, most of the buyers were there for retail, not the right type of buyers I was looking for. There was a company from china which was selling rings or earrings with 14k gold and a single small stone for $15 - $25!!!. It probably will cost me that much in raw materials if I want to make them handmade. Considering everything I didn't do that bad...got a couple of good accounts, and a couple of good leads who are starting new boutiques in LA and SF but the point is that's not enough to keep me in the business for long. I really learnt about some of the nuances of the business the very hard way - a few thousand dollars worth indeed...
I really enjoy working with metal, shaping, fusing, soldering, texturing you name it. But I am at a loss and don't have the courage to try any more shows at this time:)
Sunday, July 27, 2008
It was an ok day at the show. Towards the end of the day a couple of people came in and said they came for a different section of the show but their jewelry buyer is coming in on tuesday. They looked at all the pieces and said "you are the finest jeweler we have seen in the show". Such a great complement...hope I will get a good big order too:)
more on the show later.....btw, I am blogging from the show today:)
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
As I mentioned before Mango shape is one of the most used shape especially in silk sarees.
This shape inspired a few earrings ...basic mango shape but with the two tips curved away from each other.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Thursday, July 17, 2008
well, I experimented with a few in the year before starting Kuukivi. But the pure silk cloth I had from India was beautiful but delicate..too delicate to hold the weight of the gemstones. since starting Kuukivi I kept thinking how to get similar designs in smaller scale as pendants....I experimented with different types of wires and beads but since I wasn't doing much metal work initialy, I experimented with limited shapes. Figured out its much easier to work with fine silver wire for these sculptures than sterling silver. Now that I work with metal, I have all the freedom in the world to come up with different shapes.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
I ordered a fabric banner to use as a backdrop for my booth at San Francisco International Gift Fair...and out of the options available, I picked recycled fabric - to start using "green" materials as much as possible and add jewelry line with green silver and gold as business grows. But the surprising thing is the recycled fabric is more expensive than the normal fabric (normal!!-- I meant the regular fabric we use everyday). oh well...maybe if enough of us start using it and recycle stuff, it might come down someday:)
I am excited and looking forward for the show. The booth number is 6306 in the Handmade section. I will be introducing 14k, 18k and 22k gold collection along with really cool sterling silver designs...here's one that will in the new product displays at the show..
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
We will be at San Francisco International Gift Fair end of July in handmade section...debuting fine jewelry collection including a couple of pieces with beautiful black diamond drops!!
Here's one of the simple but striking pendant with a oversize quartz rock in the center. The pendant is thick 12gauge SS wire hand formed into shape, hammered and slightly textured and connected to SS chain with Smokey Quartz roundelles.
Friday, May 23, 2008
Kuukivi is honored to be picked among the first phase of companies to be included into Trendi launch. Quite a few of Kuukivi designs are on Trendi voting list now and I am extremely happy to say that most of the designs are making into the "Magic" side of the trendi (meaning lot of people are voting it high and adding them to their online collection/wish lists). Some of the designs that became magic include "Peacock", "Maala", my favorite "Dream", almost all the multi-layer designs. Check them out on Kuukivi or Trendi.
Thursday, May 8, 2008
And I have been taking classes learning new skills. When I created the circle designs for the summer collection, I used pre-made rings knowing that really soon I will be able to create them really really soon. now I am all ready with new shapes and designs all handcrafted by me finally:) realized that I really love working with all these tools and the satisfaction of seeing them integrated into my designs is just soo good.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Friday, April 4, 2008
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Finally got the designs online. Not 100% satisfied with all images but most of them came out good. Changed the image size (thumb nail and the big images) but the old ones are still a bit small. Still need to work on those tomorrow. Couldn't get the half dozen or so new earring designs online yet. Images came out good. just need to get them on the website..probably by end of tomorrow the rest of the images can be fixed and the earrings come online. Phew!!
This is one of myf avorite "Style" designs with a fancy pendant and the Sapphire drops just fit perfectly into the necklace.
Check out both Style and Dream collections.
Monday, March 24, 2008
That's Savita who came to help me out at the show. Thank you dear
The summer collection that I am still trying to get on the web
Friday, March 21, 2008
Thursday, March 20, 2008
What Designers is an online shopping guide with focus products that are contemporary/modern aesthetic. Kuukivi is one of the jewelry designs that got into the spring guide. Ofcourse the design chosen was "Mohini" .
The shopping guide has quite a few unique items and not just in jewelry. I loved the BEEBEE Mod tees for kids
Thank you all of you for supporting independent designers.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Sunday, March 16, 2008
This is a gold-filled necklace with 3 different styles of chain. The first and innermost is very thin chain with solid rectangle pieces connected to a single faceted chalcedony bead horizantally. The middle layer has three different types of stones (19 in total) namely hessonite garnet, spessarite and garnet with a citrine right smack in the middle. The outermost chain has another chalcedony bead connected vertically. This bead has ofcourse three drops hanging one of them is green apatite to just add a tinge of green to the entire necklace.
The necklace just look stunning with all the drops sparkling away and the colors complement the gold filled chains really well. I really loved working on it and it came out just the way I envisioned it.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
And like I mentioned in the previous blog, this summer collection is about circles and multi layers...this one is another circle focused design. The handmade hammered center circle has a beautiful long Green Onyx drop and I don't know which is complementing which. Around that there's a bountiful of gems - Emeralds with their rich green color, citrine with its cool yellow color and ofcourse tiny pearls with aquamarine beads...just love the color combination and this chain goes so perfectly with everything.
Monday, March 10, 2008
Started the photographing stage for the new designs...Last summer/Fall was about designs with exotic pendants from India. This summer its all about multi-layer designs and circles....Here is one of the designs that will be unveiled at Appel&Frank event this thursday.
Lots of beautiful moonstone drops, Hessonite garnet in different shades, green apatite drops (in total 30+ drops) handwrapped to this beautiful thick chain and 5 Silver rings spaced evenly into the necklace with one of them in the center of the pendant hanging down.
Will try to blog about one design every night this week and hoping to get all of them on the website by next monday.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
She has a great collection of gift items including jewelry. I know there are quite a few websites out there which are focused on finding the perfect gift for anyone but this is one of the few websites where you feel there is a personal touch in the items she selected. And I am very happy Kuukivi is part of that family too now:)
I have been keeping my head down and work on the Summer collection to get it out by mid-March and online by end of 3rd week or so. So, blogging has been neglected a bit again but ofcourse I have to share the good news
On another note, got a new SLR camera and have a small help session tomorrow(I love Wolf camera folks...I got the camera for a great price and they help with technical stuff too) setting up white balance and will try out pictures this weekend and post some of the upcomign designs:)
Monday, February 18, 2008
I am hoping the customers wont' get completely put off by this and send me an email with the order # and the discount code so I can promptly give them the discount. To show my appreciation for being understanding and patient, I am sending a gift certificate for $20 for any future purchases (Yes, the current shopping cart does take gift certificates:)).
I reallly want to get the spring/summer collection and the wedding collection out on time as planned (towards end of March) so decided against my better judgement to leave the shoppign cart as is and take it up a couple of months later.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
When: March 27
Whom: The South Sudanese Center
Cause: Build wells in Sudan to provide drinking waterBenefit: apart from that great feeling of being part of the great cause, your company's name will get more audience, your logo and link to your website will be placed in D4A website, list of companies with a small blurb will be published in D4A blog.
The last auction in Oct 2007 was a huge success and managed to raise enough funds for turnabout pump which is bringing safe water to a school of over 1,200 in Uganda. This time there are even more designers participating but we can use more designers to raise even more money to help with the cause.
It doesn't need to be your hottest design. Even designs from the last holiday season would be a great contribution.
Please send an email to April@aprilstardavis.com or me (email@example.com) to sign up.
We are trying to get more press for the event too. And there is a good possiblity of having some celebrities attendign the event!
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
sorry about the looong break. Moved back to California, took some time to set up everything including internet, survived yet another attack of flu and finally all ready to go....Flight with a toddler was quite an experience but little Manu was a great trooper..just wanted to play and not sleep:)
Had a good trunk show today, first one after returning. One of my friends arranged it and it was fun meeting new customers, watching reactions. It was good testing ground for new designs and the one drop career women collection that I am gettign geared up to release next month. Thank you Savita.
I think I can add a few new designs to the website this week but need to get the rest photographed soon. For eg: This is the first design that got sold today and a potential order for another one of these in Sterling Silver in summer from the same customer. When she tried out the necklace, it just looked beautiful, gorgeous all rolled into one on her.
But the picture shows one of the stones not in proper place and chain not exactly how it shoudl be and hence not on the website yet. While I was thinking of sticking to 2 layers max in a necklace, customers today told me they really like this design and would like to see more of these.....I love to hear feedback like that. Same customer wanted custom designed earrings to go with the necklace. We designed on the spot together and I think they will go perfect with this gorgeous necklace.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Yesterday recieved a card from Felicity Huffman with a lovely handwritten note.
"Thank you so much for the stunning earrings and necklace - the coral roses are so feminine and beautiful. I will wear tehm and feel lovely" -- Felicity Huffman
The necklace set name was Gopika with coral roses and Rose Quartz drops hanging from a rectangle coin pearl.
Thank you for the thought and wonderful gesture Felcity. That was a very pleasant surprise. Its always awesome to hear from happy customers:)
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Sandra and Stephanie, founders of Mywares pick and review products from around the world and provide them with exposure to wholesale buyers. Especially for people like us who can't afford to go to a lot of tradeshows yet Mywares.com is an awesome venue and the wholesale buyers get to pick products they might otherwise miss.
I am hoping 2008 will prove to be a good starting point for wholesale side of business for Kuukivi..
Sunday, January 6, 2008
Also moving back to US date is coming up..its less than 2 weeks:) We should be back in San Jose,CA on 20th. yay!!
Tuesday, January 1, 2008
Hoping to still keep the schedule to launch the Bridal jewelry and one-drop career collection towards end of March just in time for Spring...along with more beautiful anklets to choose for all those beautiful skirts in the wardrobe..